Bear Williams aka (Larry Kimpel) proud recipient of the 2023 Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award, and Volunteer Services Award is a Chicago-Based Blues/Americana/Folk Artist who tours and records internationally. 

He is the founder and co-owner of GVR Records distributed via INgrooves/Razor’s Edge/Universal Music Group

Bear Williams released his debut CD entitled "Waters Of Love" in 2017. His follow up EP entitled “Blues Rebel”,  the Single “Quarantine Blues”, "This Is America" and a plethora of other music has been released into the marketplace during the last few years.  

Bear has enjoyed over 35 years at the very highest level of the entertainment industry. Bear’s career was launched in 1977 when his High School Band Leader, The Late George “Tan” Hunter Introduced him to Chicago record producer, Sonny Saunders, and world-renowned arranger, Tom Tom Washington (EWF, Phil Collins). Hunter recommended Bear to play bass guitar in the recording studio on projects that the two music veterans were working on with Gene “Duke of Earl” Chandler. Sonny and Tom Tom hired Bear on the spot which led to the driving Bass Guitar work on Gene Chandler‘s international hit albums, “When You’re Number One” and “Rainbow 80”. From there, Bear went on to perform and record with many other Top Artists such as, Mavis Staples & The Staple Singers, Bobby Lyle, Anita Baker, George Duke, Babyface, Whitney Houston, The Crusaders, Bruce Hornsby, Tom Scott, Diana Ross, Ledisi, Rachelle Ferrelle, Patti LaBelle, Kelly Price, Bobby Caldwell, Mervyn Warren (Take 6), Ray Parker Jr., Branford Marsalis, Boney James, Rick Braun, Stanley Clarke, Patrice Rushen, Randy Crawford, George Benson, Norman Conners, Patti Austin, James Ingram, Little Richard, Miki Howard, Kevin Toney, Bobby Womack, Peabo Bryson, Steve Perry (Journey), Angela Bofill, Randy Crawford, Brenda Russell, Alanis Morrisette, Joe Cocker and Al Jarreau, just to name a few.

In addition to his professional writing, recording and production work, Bear has been the bass player and musical director of the Platinum Selling R&B/Soul Band, Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly for the last two decades.

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